top of page

What is underpinning?

Underpinning is a technique used in civil engineering to strengthen or stabilize an existing building or structure. The purpose of underpinning is to provide additional support to the foundation or structure of the building, usually due to foundation settlement, soil subsidence, or other structural issues. Underpinning is an important method of ensuring the safety and structural integrity of a building, particularly in cases where the existing foundation is inadequate or damaged.



The process of underpinning involves excavating and supporting the existing foundation, and then constructing a new, stronger foundation below it. This is done by digging under the existing foundation and pouring new concrete footings or reinforced concrete slabs. The new foundation is then tied into the existing foundation to create a continuous, stable structure.

Underpinning is often used in buildings with shallow foundations or in areas with unstable soil conditions. In these cases, the foundation may be unable to support the weight of the building, which can lead to cracking, shifting, or settling. Underpinning can also be used to address structural issues caused by changes in the environment, such as soil erosion or water damage.


There are several methods of underpinning, depending on the specific requirements of the project. These include:

  1. Mass concrete underpinning: This involves excavating a small section of the existing foundation at a time and pouring concrete to create a new, stronger foundation.

  2. Beam and base underpinning: This involves the installation of reinforced concrete beams and columns to create a new foundation below the existing one.

  3. Mini-piled underpinning: This involves drilling small-diameter holes and inserting steel or concrete piles to support the new foundation.

The process of underpinning requires careful planning and execution, as well as a thorough understanding of the structural requirements of the building. The design of the new foundation must be carefully considered to ensure that it is strong enough to support the weight of the building, and that it is tied into the existing foundation in a way that creates a continuous, stable structure.


Underpinning is often a complex and expensive process, and it is important to choose a qualified and experienced contractor to carry out the work. The contractor should be able to provide detailed plans and specifications for the underpinning work, and should have a thorough understanding of the soil conditions, structural requirements, and building codes in the area.


Underpinning is an important technique used in civil engineering to strengthen and stabilize existing buildings and structures. The process involves excavating and supporting the existing foundation, and then constructing a new, stronger foundation below it. Underpinning is often necessary to ensure the safety and structural integrity of a building, particularly in cases where the existing foundation is inadequate or damaged. It is important to choose a qualified and experienced contractor to carry out the work, and to carefully plan and execute the underpinning process to ensure a safe and successful outcome.

Comments


bottom of page